KESS2 PhD in Engineering: Investigating Advanced Measurements and Modelling of Semiconductor Devices

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    Cardiff University
    United Kingdom
    Formal sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)

Project Description

The project will include research in novel application space around a recently launched product, the RAPID load-pull system developed by Mesuro.

Mesuro is a Cardiff University spin-out, and is now a leading developer of semiconductor device modeling,characterization and optimisation test solutions. These systems are used to deliver ground breaking performance improvements in the design and manufacture of RF & Microwave devices and amplifiers.

The RAPID load-pull system has two key attributes that make it attractive tocompanies performing semiconductor characterisation or RF circuit design:

  • it offers near real-time measurement speed of RF performance over variable operating conditions
  • it offers the ability to control the impedance environment over wide-bandwidths, which becomes more vital as emerging communication standards become wider-band to deal with increased data rates.

The first topic covered will be optimum measurement approaches for different applications using the new technology, examples could include:

  • analysisof semiconductor process through real-time mapping of the device boundary conditions such as the knee region and pinch-off region, allowing for detailed investigation of process related issues such as knee walkout and pinch-off problems, device measurements will be used to show the value and scientific added value of such an approach the ability to emulate wide-band circuit impedances for broad-band power amplifier design automated approaches
  • to uncover high efficiency modes of operation aimed at improving the energy efficiency of communications system.

Research of state-of-the-art data processing, display and model extraction algorithms will also form an integral part of the project. With real time measurement speed, the quantity of data to process and display becomes much larger. New techniques will need to developed to allow for this, involving dynamic data filtering, processing and real time data display.

The topic of the research will then evolve with the project and the needs of the sponsor. It is likely that research will be either into behavioural modelling with extraction based on modulated measurements or towards advanced applications of the measurement system, for example emulation of dynamic system such as envelope tracking or digital pre-distortion.